SAN DIEGO – Two local nurses were allegedly recorded on surveillance video performing sexual acts in front of a 98-year-old stroke patient under their care.
The victim was in her home and under the care of two male nurses, identified as Russel Toralba and Alfredo Ruiz, when the alleged sexual activity was performed.
The men were hired by the woman’s family at the rate of $35,000 per month to provide in-home health care.
“She’s a stroke victim and in essence, she’s trapped in her body without the ability to speak, call out for help and tell others what is going on,” said attorney William Berman.
Toralba and Ruiz are accused of masturbating and groping each other while the patient was awake lying on the bed next to them.
The victim’s family members say they found five separate occasions on video demonstrating lewd and inappropriate behavior.
In one clip, it appears one of the men is leaning in to kiss the patient. He is holding his pants up by the draw string with one hand and is using the other to touch the patient’s face.
On another day, a video clip shows one of the nurses crouching on his knees between the legs of the other.
AMS Home Care Services Inc. in Kearny Mesa is the company who hired the nurses. They are not licensed by the State Department of Health. The company’s publicist issued this statement:
AMS Home Care Solutions, Inc. (“AMS”) is deeply shocked and saddened by the disgusting behavior revealed on a private home video released to the news media of two nurses responsible for caring for a severely infirmed woman. AMS, a home care referral agency, has always operated with the highest ethical, moral, and legal standards and continues to do so. The well-being of our clients and the trust of their families is our top priority.
AMS is a bonded, insured home care employment agency that provides placement of care givers at home. Ralph Montano, spokesperson for the California Department of Public Health, has stated in news reports that companies acting solely as “referral agencies” are not required by the State of California to obtain a specialized license in order to refer licensed practitioners to clients’ homes.
Before referring any employee to a client, we conduct exhaustive and thorough background checks. These checks include, but are not limited to, using state-of-the-art Live Scan technology which uses digitally scanned fingerprints and related information that is checked by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Because of the possibly criminal nature of the acts by Mr. Torralba and Mr. Ruiz, AMS is acting with an abundance of caution to avoid stating anything publically that could hinder or weaken law enforcement’s and regulatory agencies’ investigation in pursuit of justice. Should there be a determination of criminal wrongdoing, AMS is eager to provide all needed support to ensure all criminal acts are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Our priority is the safety and welfare of our clients and the trust of the families to know that their loved ones are being taken care of as if they are our family members. We take this responsibility very seriously.
Under the terms of the current license suspension, both men are not able to work in private care but are able to work in a hospital.
A court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 14. The California Attorney General is expected to ask for a full suspension of their licenses at that time.